The coronavirus pandemic put the entire world on pause for much of 2020 and football was no different.
We have been fortunate enough for play to resume across the world, but empty stadiums in many countries still persist and without the fans, the game doesn’t feel quite the same.
That’s why it is great to hear UEFA declare its optimism that Euro 2020 will not only go ahead in the Summer of 2021, but preparations are in place to ensure that fans will be able to attend too. With the recent news of the potential vaccine on the horizon, this may well be a real possibility.
At present, UEFA is also intending to stick to the 12 city schedule it had for the tournament before the pandemic hit.
Football has been under unfamiliar times and a return to a beloved and exciting tournament where fans can travel across the continent, connect in new and safe ways and experience the beautiful game live is a hopeful thought. Not only this but it will bring much-needed revenue, jobs and excitement to cities across Europe.
Although talks of a vaccine are promising, we should probably expect to see comprehensive testing measures in place as well as strong safety features to protect everyone.
Depending on the situation, we could also see measures implemented as in Germany, where fans have been able to return to the stadium but at a reduced rate and broken up into 15 sections to ensure that the stadium is safe.
These sorts of measures would be a small price to pay for what would be a tournament that reignites the bonds between fans and players that has been sorely missed over the past months.
Players do not want to celebrate in front of an empty stadium just as much as fans are eager to make their teams feel all their support. Safety must come first, but we must not forget about what it means to watch the beautiful game live.